Streetwear is a fashion aesthetic that stays in flux. That’s why the style has been able to stay fresh — from its origins in the late ‘80s until today. But as huge and varied a style as streetwear is, it’s still incredibly easy for the big brands like Supreme, Stüssy, Nike, and Adidas to suck up all the oxygen in the room. That’s really a shame because these gigantic brands often take their cues from more under-the-radar brands that don’t have the same global reach.
In an effort to celebrate the brands that may be off your radar but are still making cutting-edge fashion, we’re shouting out the young designers and labels that are killing it in 2022. From high-end to smaller independent brands, this crop of designers is killing it right now — oftentimes even surpassing what’s offered by the big brands with monster budgets. Most of these brands have only been around for about five years, but have been on a steady growth path. By following and supporting these designers, you’re guaranteed to come away from this article with a massively leveled-up wardrobe that is going to help you stand out no matter what sort of function you’re rolling up to.
Here are the young streetwear designers and brands to watch this decade, let’s dive in!
Circulate founder and main designer Corey Populus (aka Young Corey) lives and breathes streetwear. As a kid, Populus spent much of his time working the registers at Diamond Supply on Fairfax in Los Angeles, absorbing all he could before embarking on his own and starting Circulate. The brand began in 2018 but really found its voice during the 2020 George Floyd Protests with a new audience that resonated with Populus’ unique mix of skatewear and social messaging.
History is a running theme of Circulate, many pieces from this brand attempt to educate while celebrating cultural figures of the past, present, and future. The brand also puts a focus on quality garments made with longevity in mind, the idea being that the clothes can continue to circulate within the culture.
Deep themes and quality craftsmanship aside, the brand is just a whole lot of fun. Our favorite piece right now is a 100% cotton t-shirt featuring Rev Jesse Jackson and Marvin Gaye playing basketball. Need we really say more?
The New Blue Collar has been on our radar for a while but we can’t get enough of the way this brand is updating the idea of everyday workwear to something that resonates with the culture we actually live in.
Founded by Alex Ewings and Felix Llanos, The New Blue Collar’s main focus is on functional everyday staples that look clean, fresh, and elevated. Their current collection is varsity-inspired and consists of button-up shirts and sweaters that look like something you could wear courtside at a pick-up game in the park, back at the office, and when you hit the bars for happy hour all without the need to change.
The New Blue Collar’s expertise is in fits that can truly live in any setting. Their new Weekday Cap is another highlight. Ask yourself, has a baseball cap paired with a suit ever looked this good?
Teddy Fresh was started in 2017 by Youtuber Hila Klein (of H3h3 Productions), but honestly, the roots of the brand are the least interesting part about it. This isn’t a simple merch collection or vanity project started by wealthy YouTubers — Hila really knows her stuff and is one of the most unique designers operating in streetwear right now. Teddy Fresh makes hands down some of the best-looking modern streetwear on the market, producing quality pieces with superb craftsmanship.
The brand began with simple patchwork sweaters done up in bright pastel colors but has since expanded to a full unisex line, offering everything from dresses to jackets to tops and bottoms, all packaged in a bright pastel-heavy aesthetic that is uniquely their own. You know a Teddy Fresh piece just by looking at it, and that’s the sign of a strong brand identity.
Started by founder, designer, and creative director Joey Gollish, Mr. Saturday launched sometime in 2017 and has quietly over the years become a force in the streetwear space. Mr. Saturday is one of those few brands that seem to get stronger with every release, always pushing past what it has done before without ever losing sight of what made the brand special in the first place: quality craftsmanship and a unique merging of subcultures.
Gollish seems to enjoy exploring the nightlife subcultures of the past, whether we’re talking about groovy hippies from the psychedelic era or 90s club kids, and retranslating them through a modern lens fit for the present and future. There probably isn’t another brand that speaks more to where we are as a culture right now than Mr. Saturday.
Blondey McCoy is a superstar in the London skate scene, but honestly, if the skater wanted to leave it all behind for modeling or acting, he’s one of the few skaters that has the face and general vibe for it. Blondey cut his teeth riding for the Palace Wayward Boys Choir skate crew and got introduced to the fashion world via Palace’s early lookbooks before starting his own brand, Thames MMXX.
Like a lot of streetwear brands Thames started out with simple graphic t-shirts that fit the London skate aesthetic but has since experimented with everything from jackets, to vests, bags, knit sweaters, jewelry, sunglasses, and everything in between. Thames aesthetic feels like a pleasant contradiction, mixing a high fashion aesthetic with the casual wearability of skatewear. In the brand’s short existence, Thames has collaborated with heavyweights like Palace and Adidas, solidifying itself as a strong brand that still has its best days ahead of it.
The pandemic had a tremendous effect on the fashion industry, brands either thrived or died as the industry collectively switched to a direct-to-consumer model that prioritized fan engagement and community in a way fashion never has before. But unlike most brands, Yony actually started during the pandemic and it’s a testament to the look and power of the brand that it still exists today.
Yony is all about harkening back to a time when sourcing and craftsmanship actually mattered to the fashion industry, choosing to source all of its fabrics from the United States when possible, and cutting, sewing, washing, and dying all of its pieces in Los Angeles where the brand is headquartered.
The look of the brand is a retranslation of 50’s inspired Americana, producing pieces that look timeless while still fitting in with modern sensibilities.
Tombogo is one of the most unique and inspired streetwear brands out there right now. Started by the young Bay Area designer Tommy Bogo, the brand has existed in some form or another for a while now (it started as the name of an Oakland pop-up concert series), but really solidified itself as a unique fashion brand during the pandemic. With an emphasis on sustainability and unconventional fabrics and designs, Tombogo feels like a brand that is growing into itself and experimenting before our eyes.
While the general aesthetic is workwear-inspired unisex pieces, the look of Tombogo is a representation of where Tommy Bogo’s mind is at any given time, making it a brand that always feels flexible and continues to surprise with each drop. That makes Tombogo one of the most rewarding brands to follow right now, you really feel like you’re on a journey with its designer.